Standards Australia may have been going through difficult financial times but the company that sells the documents created by Standards Australia is doing very well.
The Australian Financial Review on 26 May 2010 (not available online) reported on the continuing growth of SAI Global and the increasingly important role it may play in the United States’s emphasise on compliance. The AFR reports that the company receives 22% of its revenue from the US and growth in sales is tipped to reach 22% in 2009/10. So it is a good investment option but its influence may also be important to note for those corporate OHS professionals who operate in a world of compliance, best practice and audits.
Its presentation as part of Macquarie Emerging Leaders provides a good summary of the history and development strategy of the company. It is clear from the information in “The Road Ahead” that OHS and risk management professionals are likely to have a knock on the door (or an email knock) from an SAI Global representative in the next few years. The services will be particularly attractive to those who operate as part of integrate strategies or enterprise risk managers but the challenge, as with all information and service providers, is to retain control of one’s own destiny.
A service company of this type illustrates a curious corporate and human need. As prescriptive legislation continues to decline, people still need someone to reassure them that they comply. That line of compliance may be greying by the year but the need for a line of compliance is ever-present. The success of SAI Global should show governments that there is a missed opportunity in establishing clear lines of compliance. Governments may have outsourced compliance through performance-based legislation but they have also outsourced a potentially lucrative service and introduced an additional business cost by causing companies to not have confidence in their own decisions.